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Alexander: A poisoned kiss of deep red!

Marc My Words 26 August 2005

A poisoned kiss of deep red!

The kind of people you invite into your bed, politically speaking, says a lot about your true colours. Like an on again/off again soap opera in an incestuous affair between forbidden lovers, Labour is now openly, if desperately, wooing the Greens. It is a Jeanette-ically Fitz-modified match made in a socially engineered dreamland! It is the stuff of nightmares.

No matter how green the Greens try to be there is no escaping that if you scratched the emerald veneer you would find a hue of red so bright you could toast your organically made dumplings.

The whiff of respectability that comes with the possibility of sitting at the Cabinet table will have the arm of every radical anarcho-feminist socialist raised in a salute of triumph! But all thinking people should beware...because every hairy armpit lifted to welcome an era of radical social restructuring will be accompanied by corresponding deterioration in the civil liberties which paradoxically gave it birth.

Helen Clark courting the Greens is a bit like going after a homeless person - it's easy to get them to stay over on your terms. After a number of elections it's all too easy to dismiss the Green Party as an irrelevant political sideshow of psychosis - if it were not for the very real possibility of their licking the crumbs of power with Labour. Sadly, it appears there is at least an outside chance they could cobble an unholy alliance and be part of a government. So, who are these would-be political suitors?

Based on the theory that two heads are better than one (or in this case, it takes two green heads to compare with one non-green head) we have co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald. Both are ex-Values and ex-Alliance members.

It is interesting that while Jeanette Fitzsimons runs around claiming the environmental higher moral ground she has been accused of failing to disclose a conflict of interest. It has been reported that as chairwoman of the Environment Select Committee her role was obstructive in foiling the go-ahead on Project Aqua; this while she was holding $115,000 shares in a competing energy technology (National Business Review 19 August, 2005).

Apparently "within days of the cancellation of Project Aqua, Meridian Energy was stepping up its investigations of new wind farms"- and Fitzsimons has 50,000 shares in Windflow Technology! Who knows how much validity there is in such allegations, but like a two-week opened tin of pilchards it just doesn't smell right to me.

Then there is Sue Bradford who, in her own words "was a Communist", who had by 1969, "rejected totalitarian communism and became a hippy". She has come out with the following gems of wisdom:

- Babies and children are actually fully realised humans and should be treated as such from the time they're born (what need of parents then?)

-"I" is actually more important than "we" (very community minded eh grasshopper!)

-Time in police cells and prison can be lonely and degrading, but also sacred (Yeah right!)

There is also Keith Locke who formed the 'University of Canterbury New Left Club' (which ominously included Michael Cullen) in 1963, his second year at the University of Canterbury. He later studied at the University of Alberta in Canada where he joined a Trotskyite group, the League for Social Action. On his return to New Zealand he became involved with the newly emerged Socialist Action League.

If Locke had decided to set up a Maoist kibbutz, arguing for vegetable rights, the addition of crop circles into the school curriculum and enforced baying at the moon for all State employees, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Another of the current crop of Greens, Metiria Turei, stood in 1993 as a candidate for the McGillicuddy Serious Party. Seriously!

While most political parties rank their candidates in order of competence, at least in theory, the Greens have done so alphabetically from candidate No.30 on. Moreover, to give an international flavour to the mix they've put up candidates who don't even live in New Zealand! Jacob Rawls who lives in Lee-on-Solent in the United Kingdom cites as one of his redeeming qualities "...well informed politically, passionate, and have existing media knowledge in London." I guess that should be handy in our Parliament over here in New Zealand! His work experience includes a "Fundraiser for Sudarshanaloka Buddhist Retreat Centre, Thames - since mid-March 2005."

There's also James Diack currently residing in Sydney, 1300 miles outside our economic zone, and how about Laura Beck, currently domiciled in London and unemployed (clearly her skills would be much in demand).

To be fair, a quick gander at most Party lists would uncover a whole gaggle of individuals no-one in their right mind would ever want in Parliament. They're there for a variety of reasons unrelated to their abilities; most I suspect as a reward for their loyalty, time and financial contributions. Trouble is...some actually make it into Parliament. Remember Alamein Kopu?

So what do the Greens consider to be their achievements? Amongst the exaggerated claims (which all Parties are guilty of), they cite Sue Kedgeley's successful campaign to get New Zealand garlic back on supermarket shelves to give consumers choice, saving the local industry from the flood of Chinese garlic (Wow!).

Also, helping to pass the Clean Slate Bill, a Government adaptation of Nandor's 2001 private member's bill which allows criminals to lie about their past offending with the legal sanction of the State (how is escaping the consequences of your crime a good thing exactly?).

Frankly, you could do what they've claimed to do, in an afternoon...and still find time for a decent siesta. So then, what of the future?

Jeanette Fitzsimons is promising to 'unclog our roads' by postponing the State Highway 20 Western extension; putting in an expensive electric train system without allowing for more energy generation (yup, that'll work); decriminalise drugs; tax food on the basis of fat and sugar content (do sports athletes and hard manual workers get a rebate for their increased food source energy needs, or will they just have to spend more of their day grazing like wildebeest?); indoctrinate children with religion's latest replacement, 'environmental education' ("school programmes such as 'Enviro-schools' and "Edible Gardens"); include the comprehensive study of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in schools; increase pressure against special character schools; and 'support the right to strike for political, economic and environmental reasons - not just on employment issues '( that will keep business happy!).

The Greens want to accomplish all this amidst a backdrop where Te Tiriti o Waitangi is seen as "an opportunity, not a threat...a framework for New Zealanders to work together" (and now, on the count of three let's hold hands and sing Kumbaya!).

All the above may not be palatable even for Labour. It sounds about as appealing a recipe for our future as seal clubbing safaris to the Artic!

The real problem, as I see it, is that the Greens come from a fundamentally pessimistic model of thinking where they've replaced the traditional religious Armageddon with manufactured environmental crises like the threat of GE or, at this time, peak oil.

There have been a number of doom merchants in the past - Malthus for one and the now infamous Club of Rome (subscribed by Fitzsimons et al) which in 1972 predicted that economic growth could not continue indefinitely, due to the limited availability of natural resources. It replaced God with Nature and its scriptural authority comes from the report 'The Limits to Growth', which has sold 30 million copies in more than 30 translations making it the best selling environment book in world history - if also one of the most erroneous.

Its presuppositions are based on a set of assumptions such as exponential growth coupled with fixed limits. Exponential growth in any variable (for example, 3 per cent per year) implies that the absolute increases in that variable will be greater each year.

Furthermore, the higher the rate of growth in resource consumption, the faster fixed stocks of it will be exhausted. For example, if you assume that current reserves of a resource are 100 times current use and the supply of reserves cannot be expanded, it would last 100 years.

However, if consumption were to grow at 2 per cent per year, the reserves would be exhausted in 55 years; and at 10 per cent, exhaustion would occur after only 24 years. The basic flaw in this reasoning is the assumption that current supply is all there is; that efficiency won't change; that alternatives won't become affordable as prices rise.

If they had their way the Green Party would increase taxes, (for example on diesel, which would raise transport costs, which in turn would raise the price of food as well as just about everything else); introduce protectionism which would do the same, amid a raft of changes that would threaten our way of life.

So far in their political career, the Greens have not had the opportunity to carry out much of their agenda - and thank God for that! What will happen if by some chance they become post-election partners with Labour? My guess is that the only business that will do a roaring trade - at least for a while - will be travel agents as they hand out tickets and departure cards to half our population. At least the environment will be OK!

And it's all so unnecessary. The thing is you don't actually have to be a card carrying member of the Nutters Club to care about the environment. All political parties care, they just differ on how to manage it. Unlike most who care about the ecosystem the Greens don't see 'us' as part of it. For them, we are the enemy. Meanwhile, the rest of us live in this world.


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